TDA Market recap
AUSTIN -- For the week ending Jan. 18, Texas feeder cattle auctions reported prices mostly steady to $6 higher per hundredweight (cwt). However, a few locations also noted prices $4 lower on a portion of their offerings, and some were as much as $15 higher. Texas direct feeder cattle prices were mostly steady. Market fundamentals remain bullish as tight supplies, record high fed cattle prices and grain prices much lower than they were at this time last year continue to support feeder prices. Fed cattle cash prices set another record-high last week, averaging $141.93 per cwt, up $3 from the previous week. Wholesale beef values also established new record-highs, with Choice-grade offerings passing $230 per cwt for the first time. Weekly beef export sales totaled 15,800 metric tons, nearly three times higher than the previous week. South Korea, Hong Kong, and Mexico were the leading buyers.
Cotton prices were higher due to strong weekly export data and news that China’s cotton imports during December were 14 percent higher than a year ago. In addition, news that several major exporters to China were fined for not reporting their sales was supportive, as it means that sales were even better than indicated. Reports also noted that Chinese yarn and textile mills continue to open subsidiaries in Vietnam, where they are not subject to import quotas or forced to buy inferior-quality domestic cotton. Cotton export sales for the week were more than triple the previous week and 46 percent higher than the prior four-week average. Vietnam, Indonesia, and China were the top buyers.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were lower after smaller than expected export inspections early in the week raised concerns about demand for the record-large corn crop. Weekly export sales data later in the week were more supportive, totaling 821,000 metric tons. This is more than five times higher than the previous week and up 26 percent from the prior four-week average. Egypt, Japan, and Mexico were the primary buyers. Shipments were up from the previous week, but lower than the average.
Wheat prices were lower as large world supplies continue to pressure the market. Higher export inspections were supportive early in the week. However, prices later followed corn downward, as export sales came in higher than the previous week, but well below the prior four-week average.
Very little precipitation fell anywhere in the state last week with totals of one-quarter of an inch or less reported in scattered locations, mostly in East Texas. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed a small deterioration in conditions in Texas, with the overall area of the state rated as abnormally dry or in drought up two points to 74 percent. The areas rated abnormally dry and in extreme drought increased, while other drought categories declined. Areas east of I-35 and north of I-10 along with sections of West and South Texas remain free of drought.
Texas Cash Markets for the week ending Jan. 18:
•Feeder steers, $164.32/cwt
•Fed cattle, $141.93/cwt
•Slaughter lambs, $189.50/cwt
•Slaughter goats, $247/cwt
•Grain sorghum, $7.45/cwt
•Cabbage, $8.50/50 lbs
•Feeder cattle, $170/cwt
•Fed cattle, $140.35/cwt
•Lumber, $369.80/1000 bd ft.
All cash prices above are market averages for locations covered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Market News program and do not reflect any particular sale at any specific location. Feeder cattle prices are for Texas direct sales of 650-850 pound medium and large No.1 steers for current delivery. Futures prices are quoted for the nearest month contract on the last trading day of the week. Timber prices are from the Texas A&M Forest Service, bimonthly “Texas Timber Price Trends.” For additional information, contact the Texas Department of Agriculture at 800-835-5832 or visit www.TexasAgriculture.gov.